NU3000 and EP4000 fan mod notes - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 52 Old 12-28-2012, 04:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Tonight I did fan mods on both an iNuke NU3000DSP and an EP4000.

A week or two ago, I ordered a fan for the NU3000DSP mod. I was looking at these two, and ended up accidentally buying them both:

Nexus 80mm Real Silent Case Fan
http://www.amazon.com/Nexus-80mm-Real-Silent-Case/dp/B000OVAM1W

Noctua NF-R8 80mm Fan
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000S95RWE

I compared them by hooking them up to an adjustable power supply. They are both really, really quiet compared to the stock fan on the NU3000DSP.

The Noctua comes with two optional resistors that can be plugged into the wires. So you can run with no resistor for full speed, or use one of the resistors to slow the fan down a little or a lot. With no resistor, the Noctua flows a lot more and is slightly louder than the Nexus. So if you are looking for a quiet fan with more air flow, the Noctua is a good choice. If you install the "low noise" resistor, the flow and sound level seems roughly comparable to the Nexus, but note that this is just a rough impression -- I did not actually measure the air flow or noise level with any precision. With the "ultra low noise" resistor, the Noctua is even quieter and lower-flowing than the Nexus.

The Nexus does not come with any resistors, and it is quieter and flows less air than the "bare" Noctua.

I have no idea which fan flows more for a given sound level. I did not do any precision measurements of flow or sound level. But I just wanted a simple install (no resistors) and the Nexus is quieter than the "bare" Noctua, so I installed the Nexus fan in my NU3000DSP.

Both fans come with rubber mounting things/posts, but you can't really use them for the amp fan mods because the fan grill is held on by the fan screws. So you have to use the fan screws that came with the amp. I did not try it, but you could probably use one of these isolators if you were pursuing the lowest possible sound level while still having a fan:
http://www.amazon.com/Nexus-80mm-Silicon-Noise-Absorber/dp/B001F1V8A4

I saw that people were also modding the fan shroud in some YouTube videos, but I did not modify my shroud. Be careful when removing the fan shroud -- I accidentally cracked mine a bit, and used some packing tape to repair it. The shroud is held in place by double-sided tape attached to the top of the fan. You can just pull it off the old fan and stick it to the new fan -- no additional tape is required.

I cut the wires and soldered the Behringer connector to the replacement fan. I used a little heat-shrink tubing over the wire splices. I accidentally pulled the connector off the Behiringer circuit board at first, but it was easy to stick back on once I removed the glue. I would normally recommend more caution than I used, but I don't actually think it hurt anything to pull the connector off the board. So go ahead an pull yours off, too -- just make sure you pull straight up so you don't bend the pins.

After the fan swap, the NU3000DSP is way, way quieter than it was with the stock fan. It is now really quiet, and totally acceptable for use in my rack.


The NU3000DSP fan swap was super easy, so I decided to swap the fan in my EP4000, too. Physically, the EP4000 is a massive beast compared to the NU3000, so it is much harder to move around. The EP4000 has more screws, too. You must remove the four little screws in the top of the case as well as the screws around the sides and back. The fan blows air through big aluminum channels, from the back of the case and out the front.

The EP4000 uses a 24v fan. But the fans I ordered are 12v. If I had searched the internet before I opened my EP4000, I would have discovered this, and the fact that Digi-key and other vendors sell low-noise 24v fans. However, I now had my EP4000 open, and I just happened to have a Noctua fan that comes with resistors, so I did a little experimentation. I cranked my power supply up as high as it would go, which was only 16v, but that is enough for my test. I installed the "low noise" resistor, and measured the voltage drop across the fan. 10v, which is a little too much. At 24v, the fan would be getting about 24 * 10/16 = ~15v. So next I tried the "ultra low noise" resistor, and got about 6v. That means that the fan would get 24 * 6/16 = ~9v maximum, which means that I can use the Noctua fan + "ultra low noise" resistor in the EP4000. I did one final test to make sure that the fan would get enough volts to spin upon startup, and it did, so I proceeded to install the Noctua fan and "ultra low noise" resistor into the EP4000. I took a little care to cable tie the connectors inside the case so that they don't rattle or disconnect themselves. I don't have a lot of time on this mod yet, but I am confident that it will work fine long-term.

So, the Noctua NF-R8 with the "ultra low noise" resistor is another option for the EP4000 fan mod. I bet that it is quieter than the common alternatives, but it probably also flows less air.

-Max
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post #2 of 52 Old 12-28-2012, 05:04 PM
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Thanks for the links Max. I was on the fence with the NU3000 and fan mod until I read your post. I plan to power a pair of 3pi subs with it. Amazon has a promotion of some kind which brought the price down under $300.
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post #3 of 52 Old 12-28-2012, 07:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dworthington59 View Post

Thanks for the links Max. I was on the fence with the NU3000 and fan mod until I read your post. I plan to power a pair of 3pi subs with it. Amazon has a promotion of some kind which brought the price down under $300.

is that for DSP version?
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post #4 of 52 Old 12-28-2012, 08:41 PM
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Yes. The promotion kicked in after I placed the order. Still, the price going in is <350.
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post #5 of 52 Old 12-28-2012, 08:57 PM
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What promotion? I get 345 at amazon

I acccept all friend requests with AVS in the message. Add me!!

PS4 PSNID = The-Barbeerian

Xbox One = The Barbeerian
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post #6 of 52 Old 12-28-2012, 09:13 PM
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I'm not exactly sure. May have something to do with my cc. But after I placed the order there was another $50 or so discount. Try it, you can always cancel.
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post #7 of 52 Old 12-29-2012, 01:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dworthington59 View Post

Thanks for the links Max. I was on the fence with the NU3000 and fan mod until I read your post. I plan to power a pair of 3pi subs with it. Amazon has a promotion of some kind which brought the price down under $300.

I'm glad you found this to be useful info. I haven't powered anything with mine yet (still waiting on XLR and Speakon connectors), but the NU3000DSP seems like an incredible value. Wow, you got an excellent deal.

-Max
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post #8 of 52 Old 12-30-2012, 02:30 PM
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I just ordered the iNuke 1000DSP for $219 after some sort of surprise discount on Amazon and ordered this fan too. Thanks for the info! Did you take any pics of the replacement process?
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post #9 of 52 Old 12-30-2012, 09:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d_c 
Did you take any pics of the replacement process?

I made some videos at a few points during the process. I didn't edit, but hopefully the info you want is in there somewhere:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/106046932581587496904/posts/7NqQYT1TaaT

-Max
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post #10 of 52 Old 01-01-2013, 11:11 AM
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Hey Max, the videos are great. It really does look easy.
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post #11 of 52 Old 01-01-2013, 04:39 PM
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I did the same with mine.

dB readings taken from right in front of the NU6000 (avoiding airflow directly on the mic)

Stock fans, forward flowing: 66-67 dB
Stock fans, reverse flowing: 65-66 dB
Noctua fans, forward flowing: less than 50dB (meter wouldn't register anything)
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post #12 of 52 Old 02-19-2013, 01:52 PM
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I just did the mod on my EP4000, here are some notes and pics of what I did and learned.

Before I get into details here is the fan I used: NMB 3110sb-05w-b20-e00 ordered from digikey.

its a 2000RPM fan 24v 19db, 80x80x25.
if its out of stock, a 2500RPM would be ok, I wouldn't go lower than 2000RPM.

note this fan is the right size for the FP14K clone amp as well.

Other ball bearing fans are quiet as well, key is to make sure its 80x80x25 and 24v and lowish RPM.
Ignore current ratings.

Here is a pic of the fan:



I did not like the fan moving air back to front (the default config). I rather cool air come into the case from the front/side vent and cool other components, and then have that air flow through the "tunnel" heat-sink and out the rear of the case.

Here are pics of my install, some notes on what I did are below:


Above you see the fan installed and screwed into the shroud. One thing you notice is that the shroud is upside down and that I have covered all the hard edges with electrical tape. In addition i used some tape to make sure the there is less of a gap between the shroud and the tunnel.

I did this for 2 reasons:
1, it is impossible to install the shroud in its original config and screw it in with the wires under it.
2 after removing the shroud to swap fans, I noticed that it was digging into the wires.



Above you can see I taped the wires down so that the wires would not get squezed by the top of the case against the hard edges of the shroud.



Above you can see I didn't feel like soldering or heat shrink wrapping anything so I just used some quick wire clips to connect to the original fan wires where I cut them.

Some things I learned:

The original design of the fan shroud pinching the wires is bad and should be revised.
The gap between the fan shroud and heat-sink tunnel is unacceptable to me.
Using resisters and the original 24 volt fan is dangerous (the fan may not start)
Running the device with the case off and no fan is not an option (enough heat is generated at idle to get into the danger zone with no active heat removal)

Easier to just go with 24 volt fan with low rpm

Results: Nice airflow from the back of the unit, i can feel airflow going in via the front vent and side vent as well.
Its very very quiet. I sit 5 feet from my equipment and you can't hear it period.
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post #13 of 52 Old 02-19-2013, 02:19 PM
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I just modded my iNuke 3000 DSP last week.

It's pretty simple to do. If you swap in a lower-speed fan, you are reducing airflow. However, it might still be enough to keep it cool.

The stock fan is 0.4 amps at 12 volts, and probably spins about 4,000 RPM... it's very loud. I had a ton of different computer case fans. I ended up using an Arctic Cooling fan that was 0.12 amps, 2000 RPM. Silent PC review has a lot of information on fans. Basically, avoid fans that spin really fast or use clear plastic for the blades.

It's very quiet now, but I didn't use a "low speed" fan so I feel like I will have adequate thermal protection. I also clipped about 1/4" off the end of the shroud to reduce the output impedance of the fan slightly.
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post #14 of 52 Old 02-19-2013, 02:48 PM
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I haven't seen the most important spec of a fan mentioned; volume flow. If you can find a fan with the same CFM or litres/min (or close) you will be fine.
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post #15 of 52 Old 02-20-2013, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by javi404 View Post

I did not like the fan moving air back to front (the default config). I rather cool air come into the case from the front/side vent and cool other components, and then have that air flow through the "tunnel" heat-sink and out the rear of the case.

The air coming out of the fan is much more directional than that drawn in from the front of the case (compare the blowing vs. sucking ports of a shop vac for a dramatic demonstration), so you might have greatly reduced the cooling air to the output devices.
Quote:
Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post

I haven't seen the most important spec of a fan mentioned; volume flow. If you can find a fan with the same CFM or litres/min (or close) you will be fine.

A lot less CFM should be fine for most home users, where the average power is many times less than for PA use.

Noah
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post #16 of 52 Old 02-20-2013, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by javi404 View Post

I did not like the fan moving air back to front (the default config). I rather cool air come into the case from the front/side vent and cool other components, and then have that air flow through the "tunnel" heat-sink and out the rear of the case.

The air coming out of the fan is much more directional than that drawn in from the front of the case (compare the blowing vs. sucking ports of a shop vac for a dramatic demonstration), so you might have greatly reduced the cooling air to the output devices.
Quote:
Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post

I haven't seen the most important spec of a fan mentioned; volume flow. If you can find a fan with the same CFM or litres/min (or close) you will be fine.

A lot less CFM should be fine for most home users, where the average power is many times less than for PA use.

Noah
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post #17 of 52 Old 02-23-2013, 07:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noah katz View Post

The air coming out of the fan is much more directional than that drawn in from the front of the case (compare the blowing vs. sucking ports of a shop vac for a dramatic demonstration), so you might have greatly reduced the cooling air to the output devices.

Yep, that's why I did some fancy electrical tape work to compensate for the gaps between the shroud and the heat-sink, to make sure as much air is being pulled through the tunnel as possible. For HT use even with long bass heavy material the amp stays nice and cool to the touch.
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post #18 of 52 Old 02-24-2013, 05:12 AM
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Hello, y'all.
Was building low-noise PCs (towers down to SFF) for years and have explored low-noise case fans and other case acoustic dampening methods.
SilentPCReview website has a section on case fans that is worthy of reading for background knowledge and even some recommendations that may be right for some of these audio amps.
They discuss different size fans, construction, cfm capacities at given voltages, etecetra. You just have to make sure you are matching the right specs for the needed fan.
As always, you can't go wrong with Newegg website for finding most fans of this size.
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post #19 of 52 Old 02-24-2013, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by blah450 View Post

As always, you can't go wrong with Newegg website for finding most fans of this size.

Umm.... Correct me if i'm wrong but aren't all the fans on newegg 12v and the ep4000 needs a 24v fan?
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post #20 of 52 Old 02-24-2013, 11:47 AM
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Yes you do need a 24v fan.

Blasting brown notes for 10 years and counting!

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post #21 of 52 Old 02-24-2013, 10:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by javi404 View Post

Yep, that's why I did some fancy electrical tape work to compensate for the gaps between the shroud and the heat-sink, to make sure as much air is being pulled through the tunnel as possible. For HT use even with long bass heavy material the amp stays nice and cool to the touch.

good job, sounds like you have it covered.

Noah
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post #22 of 52 Old 02-25-2013, 04:24 AM
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Sharing my story here related to reversing the airflow in my EP2500 http://www.avsforum.com/t/1377292/ep2500-10-minutes-no-load-hot-180-deg-f

Do it with much caution!
IMO, and based on what I learned do NOT reverse the fan direction.

key posts from that thread here:

Post dated 12/3/11 at 11:49am
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtbdudex View Post

Sept-24-2011 I posted in this thread, My EP4000 is getting hot very quick , but my issue seems different so making a new thread.

When it's hot, it's HOT, my amp I mean.

My EP2500 still works, but runs too hot as posted in the above AVS link.

I've been using it for only 2 hours max at a time, then off with the HT.

I finally had time to take the EP2500 out of the rack this morning, take the cover off, and inspect it.

Everything looked "ok", nothing looked "burned" brown/bubbled, etc.

Plugged it in the wall, turned on, nothing hooked to it at all.

10-12 minutes later, look at these temps, taken with handy IR thermometer, and felt with my fingers.

What are those white ceramic (I think) things that are getting so hot so fast, w/o any signal?? either they are at/near room temp 70's, or cooking HOT.

Any idea/suggestions to trouble shoot this??


All the other components feel just "normal".

I will cross-post this at my other forum, IB Cult, as a lot of guys there also use this amp.

Post dated 12/3/11 at 4:12pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtbdudex View Post

FYI:

The fan mod was the 1/2 speed fan for lower db, and direction reversed from stock.

>>I just flipped the fan so now flow direction is stock.
>>Fan goes on instantly when turned on

a) Waited 4 minutes, and everything was getting quite hot.
b) After 30 minutes of "idling", the components are all at their same "HOT" temps, but the alum heat sink is dramatically cooler (top) than before and the exit air coming out the front is not hot at all.

>>In hindsight, looks like from this issue I can clearly see Behringer engineered that heat sink/components/air flow as a system to efficiently dissipate heat instead of letting it build up, and airflow of the sink definitely is part of the engineering.

Picts of white ceramic components

70 deg f components


180 deg f components


180 deg f components


140 deg f components


[update 5pm]

2 full hours later its stabilized, exhaust is cool, those specific components are HOT, but the alum heat sink is just warm, 90's, and only in certain areas.
I'm putting the EP2500 back into the HT.

Would recommend only the low db fan, and keep stock airflow direction.

[update 6pm]

I plugged the EP2500 into my Panamax 5300, it went from 124v 0.7 amps (idle draw of : PS3 + Denon AVR-4308CI + Furman PS-PRO II PWR COND/SEQ) to 1.1 amps, meaning the EP2500 idle current is 0.4amps w/o any signal.

It stayed at 1.1 amps for 45+ minutes, so steady state.

Post dated 12/4/11 at 9:55pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtbdudex View Post

FOH/digital desire;
(went to U of M vs Iowa bball game this afternoon, just noticed this update.)

Thx for bandwidth, yes when I did the amp fan related mods (lowed db fan and reverse direction) I also added that silver HVAC tape for what I thought was improving airflow thru the heatsink and thereby improving convection and removing more btu's, which....should keep it running cooler?

Anyway, like stated yesterday I reversed the fan direction and did remove the silver HVAC tape.

Back to "near stock", I did NOT re-install the original "loud" fan.

When I built my IB sub 3 years ago initially zero amp mod for a few months, and at low passages I could hear the fan, so did the fan mod.

I noticed the heat a few months back, sorta watched it but did nothing.

Being totally honest, possibly it always was running that hot -or near that hot but I never paid attention?? Definitely I never measure it, funny feeling wires/wood 170def f sure feels "hot", but won't burn your skin, but measuring it totally woke me up.

As a re-cap, when I opened the rear doors to the A/V rack it was hot and upon measuring really hot as shown in this old picture with mark-up.


Update as of tonight (Sun 12/4 9:30pm)
Upon coming home from the U of M vs Iowa bball game (UM won), and eating Reuben sandwich bought from zingermans deli, My boys and I watched via Blu-ray StarWars:III Revenge of the Sith.

Not at full reference level, about -12db, still gave the amp a decent workout.
Good news: working fine and running just warm, not hot!!

I think the mystery is sorta solved - and definitely advise people do NOT mess with airflow direction unless you know the "whys".

For my knowledge: why does the amp at "idle" take 0.4 amps? Just to keep the capacitors fully charged??
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post #23 of 52 Old 03-01-2013, 03:18 PM
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If you do reverse the fan. Improve the shroud. Remember it's all a compromise no matter what you do. Less airflow means less cooling. I agree the heat tunnel could have been designed better.
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post #24 of 52 Old 03-03-2013, 08:19 PM
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One more reason to reverse the flow of the fan, I have cats. Rather air come in via grilled / filtered vent than sucked directly into the fan. Just more of my 2 cents.
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post #25 of 52 Old 03-05-2013, 08:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post

I haven't seen the most important spec of a fan mentioned; volume flow. If you can find a fan with the same CFM or litres/min (or close) you will be fine.

For the iNuke 3000, the same CFM for a fan is going to produce nearly the same amount of noise. The best thing you can do is reduce the fan speed and use a well-designed fan, and leave the shroud mostly intact. I would not recommend reversing the flow direction based on how it is designed. It may work OK, but I wouldn't trust that.

Couple notes: Don't get one of those clear/LED fans, the blades are made of a hard material that adds noise. Again, I would go for a fan rated 0.12 amps, MAYBE 0.10 amps, no lower. The Noctuas are nice but I wish to err on the side of caution with my big "high powered" amplifier. Even with my 2000 RPM 0.12 amp fan, it's noticeable only if you are close to it and no sound or music is playing.
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post #26 of 52 Old 03-05-2013, 01:10 PM
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Are the inuke fans 12V or 24V?

Noah
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post #27 of 52 Old 03-05-2013, 01:56 PM
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My iNuke 3000 came with a 12V fan.


I've mounted mine vertically with an Antec ball-bearing fan running off a 5V cellphone charger.


Two would seem to be two too many to me too.
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post #28 of 52 Old 03-05-2013, 03:14 PM
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I went a little overboard on my NU3000DSP. I replaced the fan with a Noctua NF-R8-1800. It has significantly less CFM than the stock fan, so I supplemented it with a bunch of copper heatsinks.





I'm not even pushing it that hard. Oh well. tongue.gif
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post #29 of 52 Old 03-05-2013, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djkest View Post

For the iNuke 3000, the same CFM for a fan is going to produce nearly the same amount of noise.
Not necessarily. What are the specs for volume flow and SPL for the Behringer fans?
I do speak with some experience in this regard; I replaced the very noisy fans in my Quest amp with much quieter Scythe units and they have an almost identical volume flow. After some decades of designing and repairing electronics, I know how quickly a SS component will fail after a relatively few heating/cooling cycles if the heating is excessive. Electro caps likewise dry out more quickly and prone to leakage so I much prefer to keep all of my electronics cool.
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post #30 of 52 Old 03-09-2013, 02:44 PM
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The fan I was going to buy on digi key was backordered until May. Will this one work?

http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/OD8025-24LB/1053-1263-ND/2621168

Its 23db vs 19db (the backordered one), but I am guessing its still better than the stock fan.
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Behringer Nu3000 Inuke Ultra Lightweight High Density 3000 Watt Power Amplifier , Behringer Europower Ep4000 Professional Amplifier
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